Jackrabbit Hikes: PCT Day 19-20

Day 19 – Holcomb Creek (mi 285.9) to Deep Creek Hot Springs (mi 307.9)

SoCal is so damn windy. I think the ocean brings the wind in and with a desert plain the only thing it crosses, it just rushes across the state. The mountains act as barriers creating wind tunnels in the valleys.

With that being said, all hail the wind gods for calming it down overnight. One of the best night’s sleep I’ve had.

The morning was cold and crisp and I ran into all the people who beat me out of camp throughout the morning. Speaker was around and new face too, Lil Spoon. A section hiker from Canada. So many Canadians on the PCT, I’ve doubled my total knowledge about Canada at this point. Im diggin’ it.

I took my usual no-breaks for the first few hours and around noon my stomach was giving me the sign. Lunch time. Now I think this is where some of you are going to wretch, but my go-to lunch is jalapeño tuna and a shit ton of peanut butter on a tortilla wrap. If there’s one thing I’m not going deficient in, it’s protein.

Me, Speaker, Chef, and Lil Spoon all posted up for lunch under Deep Creek Bridge. One of the first proper bridges we were going to cross. The PCT water sources and crossings in SoCal have been so shallow and lackluster there really hasn’t been a need for one. Deep Creek however was deep pools and cold water for miles, cutting a valley through the mountains.

We wrapped up lunch (pun intended) and continued north to a spot we’ve heard so much about. The Deep Creek Hot Springs. Home to naked locals and hikers and some therapeutic hot pools fed by natural springs underground. And if you’re thinking of babes in bikinis, think again. It’s more like a few old dudes lacking any sign of a tan line.

We made it around mid-day and posted up. I dipped my toes in the cold water of Deep Creek and then switched to the hot springs pool.

“Oh yeahhhh”.

105 degrees Fahrenheit according to the local naked old dude. Joe B gave us the 411 on how many pools there are, their temperature, and their names. All with his dong out. Now that’s a trail historian right there.

Once he got in the water it was a little less distracting and he told us some stories about his last 30 years visiting the pool. I met two more Canadians that night, Kimberley and Roxy, and convinced them to join me and Joe in the hot pool. We all sat around and laughed it up to Joe’s stories. It may be a little weird to just be kicking it with a naked old dude in a hot spring but I won’t lie the vibe was immaculate. He was cool as hell, just unclothed.

So here’s your lesson for the day folks: don’t judge a book by its oddly tan genitals.

Day 20 – Deep Creek Hot Springs (mi 307.9) to Tent Site (mi 317.3)

I can see how people get vortexed at the hot springs. The morning was chilly and I knew for sure I wanted to go in for another dip. I wasn’t able to convince the guys, but Roxy and Kim were game for a swim.

We hung out in a slightly cooler tub than the night before and passed the morning there. A few hikers joined us in the tub and we made some new friends, as always.

It was a weird start. I’m used to opening my eyes and packing my bag ASAP and getting on trail as soon as I’m ready. I’m almost always hiking by 7:00 am. I didn’t even have my bag packed to drag over to the Hot Springs at like 8:30 am; definitely a different kind of day.

We took our time relaxing in the springs and the hot water continued to work it’s magic. On top of the slow start, we were planning to go a less traditional hiker stop: the Joshua Inn. It’s called an Inn but it’s a dive bar that allows tenting.


The day progressed itself on Joshua Inn time. The bar didn’t open till 2:00 so we waited. When we arrived, the only pizza place around didn’t deliver till 4:00 so we waited. Time flies when you’re hiding from the sun in AC. We got our pizzas, carried our light buzz, and next thing you know it’s 6:45 pm.

6:45 pm and I’ve hiked 7mi on the day. Totally out of the normal. Totally one of my favorite days.

Graham caught up with us at the bar and it was great to have my longest PCT friend back in the mix. The final crew was me, Kim, Graham, Roxy (now Fair Share after perfectly dividing the pizza bill/slices), Lost Boy from the UK, Alaska from Austria, and Smokescreen from Buffalo, NY.

We bagged up the remaining pizza slices and tipped back the last of the beers on the table. Time to hike? Oh hell yeah!!!

We all got 2.9 more miles as the sun set and set up near a dry creek bed. Everyone had a great day and we shared laughs as everyone fumbled their tents in the dark. There was red lights flashing everywhere as we got ready for the overnight storm.

First storm in this new tent! Here’s to not blowing away and waking up dry.

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